A recent discussion on the 9rules forum brought about an old topic I haven’t touched in a while. At what point should you balance between writing for yourself and writing for an audience? If you’re writing for yourself, wouldn’t that mean that you aren’t going to have many readers in the first place? If you’re going to write for an audience, isn’t that going to make you look cheap and dishonest?
To be honest with you I see no difference with both. By having a public blog, you’re already resigned to the fact people are going to read your blog. The question is would you want to spend the bulk of your time self editing your own posts and wondering “if people would really read this?” to avoid being part scores of “me too” blogs out there? Or would you rather have people read your blog knowing who you are no matter how narcissistic or mundane you think you can be?
You have to admit, for the most part it’s hard to deny that we don’t care about our readers interacting with us. It feels good when it happens. After all this is something you wrote and truthfully if you really don’t care about people reading or commenting, maybe you should start writing on real paper instead.
Whatever course of action you take, it would be good to remember that at the end of it, your blog is for yourself. Even if you’re writing for an audience, the reason you would do that is for you to have people read and otherwise interact about something you wrote. It’s still a selfish reason either way. Whether it’d be you wanting people to read what you wrote for them or you wanting people to read something you wrote for yourself. It’s the same thing. You want people to read something you wrote. It’s just that one is less stressful than the other.
In a personal note, following the months that I began to just write whatever that crossed my mind. I blogged about the things that affected me in any way regardless on whether it was a hot topic or even if there was a hot topic on and I was talking about something else entirely. It turns out that those of you who have been following my blog say it’s become more readable. Those of you that started to visit my blog, have been coming back on a regular basis. Whether you commented or not, there will always be other posts. Life after all is not without its constant source of events. Not everything in my life has to be something that affects you.
Sometimes it isn’t about the actual point that matters, more so if you’re a personal blog with no niche. It’s about how you felt free to express your point that people come back to. That’s what being natural is all about. It doesn’t matter whether what I write sounds boring or not. If I think it’s worth blogging about, I will and I sure as hell will have the enthusiasm to back it up. It’s who you are that people will come back reading. So you might as well give them their time’s worth.
Update: What do you know? 9rules wrote something about it too.